Search results for: diplomacy-a-very-short-introduction

Diplomacy A Very Short Introduction

Author : Joseph M. Siracusa
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Diplomacy means different things to different people, the definitions ranging from the elegant ("the management of relations between independent states by the process of negotiations") to the jocular ("the art of saying 'nice doggie' until you can find a rock"). Written by Joseph M. Siracusa, an internationally recognized expert, this lively volume introduces the subject of diplomacy from a historical perspective, providing examples from significant historical phases and episodes to illustrate the art of diplomacy in action, highlighting the milestones in its evolution. The book shows that, like war, diplomacy has been around a very long time, at least since the Bronze Age. It was primitive by today's standards, there were few rules, but it was a recognizable form of diplomacy. Since then, diplomacy has evolved greatly, to the extent that the major events of modern international diplomacy have dramatically shaped the world in which we live. Indeed, the case studies chosen here demonstrate that diplomacy was and remains a key element of statecraft, and that without skilful diplomacy political success may remain elusive.

Diplomatic History A Very Short Introduction

Author : Joseph M. (Professor of Political History and International Security at Curtin University Siracusa, Australia)
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Diplomatic history is the critical study of the management of relations between nation-states. Based on significant historical case studies - the American Revolution, the origins of the Great War and its aftermath, Versailles, the Iraq War, and diplomacy in the age of globalization - this book locates the universal role of diplomatic negotiation.

Machiavelli A Very Short Introduction

Author : Quentin Skinner
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Niccolò Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil so that good may come of it, and his name has been a byword ever since for duplicity and immorality. Is his sinister reputation deserved? In answering this question Quentin Skinner traces the course of Machiavelli's adult life, from his time as Second Chancellor of the Florentine republic, during which he met with kings, the pope, and the Holy Roman Emperor; to the fall of the republic in 1512; to his death in 1527. It was after the fall of the Republic that Machiavelli composed his main political works: The Prince, the Discourses, and The History of Florence. In this second edition of his Very Short Introduction Skinner includes new material on The Prince, showing how Machiavelli developed his neo-classical political theory, through engaging in continual dialogue with the ancient Roman moralists and historians, especially Cicero and Livy. The aim of political leaders, Machiavelli argues, should be to act virtuously so far as possible, but to stand ready 'to be not good' when this course of action is dictated by necessity. Exploring the pivotal concept of princely virtù to be found in classical and Renaissance humanist texts, Skinner brings new light to Machiavelli's philosophy of a willingness to do whatever may be necessary - whether moral or otherwise -to maintain a position of power. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The European Union A Very Short Introduction

Author : Simon Usherwood
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The European Union (EU) stands out as a fascinatingly unique political organisation. On the one hand, it has shown the potential for developing deep and wide-ranging cooperation between member states, going far beyond that found anywhere else in the world. On the other, it is currently in the throes of a phase of profound uncertainty about its viability and future. Showing how and why the EU has developed from 1950 to the present day, this Very Short Introduction covers a range of topics, including the Union's early history, the workings of its institutions and what they do, the interplay between 'eurosceptics' and federalists, and the role of the Union beyond Europe in international affairs and as a peace-keeper. In this fully updated fourth edition, Pinder and Usherwood cover the migrant crisis and the UK's decision to leave the Union, set in the context of a body that is now involved in most areas of public policy. Discussing how the EU continues to draw in new members, they conclude by considering the future of the Union and the choices and challenges that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Ancient Near East A Very Short Introduction

Author : Amanda H. Podany
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The ancient Near East is defined, for the purposes of this book, as the cuneiform lands," the regions of the ancient world where the cuneiform script, written on clay tablets, was used as the most common medium for written communication. These lands comprise Mesopotamia (with its variously named regions: Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria); Syria, Elam (later known as Persia), and Anatolia. The three thousand years to be covered by this book - from around 3500 BCE, with the founding ofthe first Mesopotamian cities (which coincide with the invention of writing) to the conquest of the Near East by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE - encompass an era of remarkable innovation and achievement. Many of the creations of the people of the ancient Near East are still with us, from fundamental inventions such as the wheel and the plow to intellectual feats such as the inventions of astronomy, law, and diplomacy. The region is known as the "cradle of civilization" for good reason. Here, men and women first tried to live peacefully together in densely urban cities, and found ways, through law and custom, to thrive and prosper. The popular image of history as a story of progress from primitive barbarism to modern sophistication is completely belied by the study of the ancient Near East. For example, women had many rights and freedoms; they could own property, run businesses, and represent themselves in court. Diplomats traveled between the capital cities of major powers ensuring peace and friendship between the kings. Scribes and scholars studied the stars and could predict eclipses and the movements of the planets. These achievements were lost in subsequent centuries, only to be reborn in more modern times. Perhaps the most obvious legacy from the ancient Near East is seen in some of our units of measurement. The Mesopotamians invented a mathematical system based on the number 60, and all the 60-based units in our modern world (including seconds, minutes, and degrees) have come down, unaltered, directly from Mesopotamia. Taking a chronological view, the book will include what we know, ideas about what we don't yet know (but perhaps will in the future), evidence used for discerning the history of the region, and approaches taken to the evidence by scholars of the ancient Near East. Each chapter will focus on one or two archaeological sites that have contributed extensive evidence (both textual and archaeological) to our understanding of an era and expanding from that evidence to a broader view of the era as a whole."

Modern Architecture A Very Short Introduction

Author : Adam Sharr
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Somewhere between 1910 and 1970, architecture changed. Now that modern architecture has become familiar (sometimes celebrated, sometimes vilified), it's hard to imagine how novel it once seemed. Expensive buildings were transformed from ornamental fancies which referred to the classical and medieval pasts into strikingly plain reflections of novel materials, functions, and technologies. Modern architecture promised the transformation of cities from overcrowded conurbations characterised by packed slums and dirty industries to spacious realms of generous housing and clean mechanised production set in parkland. At certain times and in certain cultures, it stood for the liberation of the future from the past. This Very Short Introduction explores the technical innovations that opened-up the cultural and intellectual opportunities for modern architecture to happen. Adam Sharr shows how the invention of steel and reinforced concrete radically altered possibilities for shaping buildings, transforming what architects were able to imagine, as did new systems for air conditioning and lighting. While architects weren't responsible for these innovations, they were among the first to appreciate how they could make the world look and feel different, in connection with imagery from other spheres like modern art and industrial design. Focusing on a selection of modern buildings that also symbolize bigger cultural ideas, Sharr discusses what modern architecture was like, why it was like that, and how it was imagined. Considering the work of some of the historians and critics who helped to shape modern architecture, he demonstrates how the field owes as much to its storytellers as to its buildings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nuclear Weapons A Very Short Introduction

Author : Joseph M. Siracusa
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Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Bomb is still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. As Bill Clinton's first secretary of defence, Les Aspin, aptly put it: 'The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is no more. But the post-Cold War world is decidedly not post-nuclear'. For all the effort to reduce nuclear stockpiles to zero, it seems that the Bomb is here to stay. This Very Short Introduction reveals why. The history, and politics of the bomb are explained: from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb, and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development, through the Cold War, to the present-day controversy of George W. Bush's National Missile Defence, and the threat and role of nuclear weapons in the so-called Age of Terror. Joseph M. Siracusa provides a comprehensive, accessible, and at times chilling overview of the most deadly weapon ever invented. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

International Relations A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Wilkinson
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Of undoubtable relevance today, in a post-9-11 world of growing political tension and unease, this Very Short Introduction covers the topics essential to an understanding of modern international relations. Paul Wilkinson explains the theories and the practice that underlie the subject, and investigates issues ranging from foreign policy, arms control, and terrorism, to the environment and world poverty. He examines the role of organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, as well as the influence of ethnic and religious movements and terrorist groups which also play a role in shaping the way states and governments interact. This up-to-date book is required reading for those seeking a new perspective to help untangle and decipher international events. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nuclear Weapons

Author : Joseph M. Siracusa
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Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the atomic bomb is still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. As Bill Clinton's first secretary of defense, Les Aspin, aptly put it, "The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is no more. But the post-Cold War world is decidedly not post-nuclear." For all the effort to reduce nuclear stockpiles to zero, it seems that the bomb is here to stay. This Very Short Introduction reveals why. The history and politics of the bomb are explained: from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb, and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development through the Cold War. In this new edition, Joseph M. Siracusa includes a new concluding chapter, moving away from the emphasis of nuclear weapons in the "age of terrorism," to the significant lessons to be learnt from the history of the nuclear weapons era. Siracusa shows that because 21st century nuclear proliferation has deep roots in the past, an understanding of the lessons of this nuclear history is paramount for future global policies to be successful. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Ancient Egypt A Very Short Introduction

Author : Ian Shaw
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The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination - mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured the imagination of generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this great civilization? In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, through such media as literature, cinema and contemporary art. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of ancient Egypt, from despotic pharaohs to dismembered bodies, and from hieroglyphs to animal-headed gods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

American Foreign Relations

Author : Andrew Preston
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"For better or worse, be it militarily, diplomatically, politically, economically, or culturally, Americans have had a profound role in shaping the wider world beyond them. Unsurprisingly, most non-Americans have passionate views about the nature of U.S. foreign policy. America has been a savior to some, a curse to others-and both have good reason to feel that way. And yet, such views are often also based on a caricature of American actions and intentions. For their part, Americans themselves have strong opinions about their role in the world and how it has evolved over time. Yet these views are shrouded as much in myth as they are grounded in fact. American Foreign Relations, then, suffers from being a subject of immense worldwide importance but almost complete misunderstanding; it provokes strong emotions and much debate in newspapers daily, but is accompanied by little comprehension. This Very Short Introduction aims to offer analysis of key events, episodes, crises, and individuals in the making of American foreign relations. It will discuss events such as the Revolutionary War, the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, manifest destiny, the Mexican War, the Civil War, industrialization, the beginnings of globalization, the Spanish-American War, imperialism, the annexation of the Philippines, informal imperialism and the Open Door policy, World War I, isolationism, World War II, the Cold War from its origins to its end (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars), the Iraq Wars, 9/11, and Afghanistan. Such topics will be situated within an analytical narrative that follows chronology generally, but not strictly or comprehensively."--Provided by publisher.

International Relations a Very Short Introduction

Author : Christian Reus-Smit
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International relations affects everyone's lives: their security, economic well-being, rights and freedoms, and the environment they share. Recently we have seen the transformation from a world of empires to today's world of sovereign states, which are enmeshed in a complex array of international institutions, all exercising degrees of political authority. The new global organization of political authority has far-reaching consequences. This Very Short Introduction untangles this complex world, providing an accessible framework for understanding the contours of global political change. Christian Reus-Smit treats theory as an indispensable tool for grasping international relations, but demystifies theorizing, introducing it as an everyday human practice. He surveys a range of theories, from realism to feminism: reading them as contrasting perspectives on the global organization of political authority. Historically, such organization has been shaped by diverse social forces, four of which are discussed in detail: shifting patterns of warfare, changing economic conditions, struggles for rights, and the politics of culture. Reus-Smit concludes with a reflection on the future of international relations in an era of profound global change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Rhetoric A Very Short Introduction

Author : Richard Toye
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Rhetoric is often seen as a synonym for shallow, deceptive language, and therefore as something negative. But if we view rhetoric in more neutral terms, as the 'art of persuasion', it is clear that we are all forced to engage with it at some level, if only because we are constantly exposed to the rhetoric of others. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defence of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from Ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Symmetry A Very Short Introduction

Author : Ian Stewart
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In the 1800s mathematicians introduced a formal theory of symmetry: group theory. Now a branch of abstract algebra, this subject first arose in the theory of equations. Symmetry is an immensely important concept in mathematics and throughout the sciences, and its applications range across the entire subject. Symmetry governs the structure of crystals, innumerable types of pattern formation, how systems change their state as parameters vary; and fundamental physics is governed by symmetries in the laws of nature. It is highly visual, with applications that include animal markings, locomotion, evolutionary biology, elastic buckling, waves, the shape of the Earth, and the form of galaxies. In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart demonstrates its deep implications, and shows how it plays a major role in the current search to unify relativity and quantum theory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sociolinguistics A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Edwards
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Sociolinguistics deals with the social life of language, language in its sociocultural context. It is a branch of linguistics that looks less at the shape or sound of words--morphology or phonology--and more at how our words and sentences are influenced by the society around us--for instance, how the accent or the dialect we use has been shaped by where we come from or which social class we belong to. In this Very Short Introduction, John Edwards offers the most up-to-date brief overview available of sociolinguistics, with side trips into the sociology of language and psycholinguistics. He considers such topics as the different social evaluations of languages and dialects, the loaded significance of names, and the importance of politically-driven language planning and policy. The relationship between language and gender, sexist language, the language of poverty, and the intertwining of language and religion are also dealt with here. Edwards stresses that, while linguists see all dialects as equally valid, in the wider world powerful attitudes have always placed language varieties in social hierarchies. The author also looks at language more broadly, examining the ways in which languages rise or fall, the attempts to revive flagging or endangered varieties, the reasons why some languages came to dominate others, and the special dynamics that affect contact between "big" and "small" languages. In both its role as our most powerful tool of communication and as the most immediate symbolic marker of human affiliation, language is pre-eminently a social phenomenon. This compact volume offers an invaluable introduction to this vital aspect of language. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

The Crusades A Very Short Introduction

Author : Christopher Tyerman
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Crusading fervour gripped Europe for over 200 years, creating one of the most extraordinary, vivid episodes in world history. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most romantic of Christian expeditions, or the last of the barbarian invasions, they have fascinated generations ever since, and their legacy of ideas and imagery has resonated through the centuries, inspiring Hollywood movies and great works of literature. Even today, to invoke the Crusades is to stir deep cultural myths, assumptions and prejudices. Yet despite their powerful hold on our imaginations, our knowledge of them remains obscured an distorted by time. Were the Crusaders motivated by spiritual rewards, or by greed? Were the Crusades an experiment in European colonialism, or a manifestation of religious love? How were they organized and founded? With customary flair and originality, Christopher Tyerman picks his way through the many debates to present a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades; bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Chinese Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Sabina Knight
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Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.

The Silk Road A Very Short Introduction

Author : James A. Millward
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The phrase "silk road" evokes vivid scenes of merchants leading camel caravans across vast stretches to trade exotic goods in glittering Oriental bazaars, of pilgrims braving bandits and frozen mountain passes to spread their faith across Asia. Looking at the reality behind these images, this Very Short Introduction illuminates the historical background against which the silk road flourished, shedding light on the importance of old-world cultural exchange to Eurasian and world history. On the one hand, historian James A. Millward treats the silk road broadly, to stand in for the cross-cultural communication between peoples across the Eurasian continent since at least the Neolithic era. On the other, he highlights specific examples of goods and ideas exchanged between the Mediterranean, Persia, India, and China, along with the significance of these exchanges. While including silks, spices, and travelers' tales of colorful locales, the book explains the dynamics of Central Eurasian history that promoted Silk Road interactions--especially the role of nomad empires--highlighting the importance of the biological, technological, artistic, intellectual, and religious interchanges across the continent. Millward shows that these exchanges had a profound effect on the old world that was akin to, if not on the scale of, modern globalization. He also disputes the idea that the silk road declined after the collapse of the Mongol empire or the opening of direct sea routes from Europe to Asia, showing how silk road phenomena continued through the early modern and modern expansion of the Russian and Chinese states across Central Asia. Millward concludes that the idea of the silk road has remained powerful, not only as a popular name for boutiques and restaurants, but also in modern politics and diplomacy, such as U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's "Silk Road Initiative" for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Nineteenth Century Britain A Very Short Introduction

Author : Christopher Harvie
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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew's Very Short Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Britain is a sharp but subtle account of remarkable economic and social change and an even more remarkable political stability. Britain in 1789 was overwhelmingly rural, agrarian, multilingual, and almost half Celtic. By 1914, when it faced its greatest test since the defeat of Napoleon, it was largely urban and English. Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew show the forces behind Britain's rise to its imperial zenith, and the continuing tensions within the nations and classes of the 'union state'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Fractals A Very Short Introduction

Author : Kenneth Falconer
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Many are familiar with the beauty and ubiquity of fractal forms within nature. Unlike the study of smooth forms such as spheres, fractal geometry describes more familiar shapes and patterns, such as the complex contours of coastlines, the outlines of clouds, and the branching of trees. In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Falconer looks at the roots of the 'fractal revolution' that occurred in mathematics in the 20th century, presents the 'new geometry' of fractals, explains the basic concepts, and explores the wide range of applications in science, and in aspects of economics. This is essential introductory reading for students of mathematics and science, and those interested in popular science and mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.